Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao believes that patience became the key for Lito Adiwang’s convincing unanimous decision win against Chinese opponent Hexigetu in ONE: Revolution last Friday, Sept. 24.
Adiwang, known for his explosiveness in the Circle, is nicknamed “The Thunder Kid” for this very reason.
But after suffering his first promotional defeat against now No. 4 strawweight contender Hiroba Minowa, the Team Lakay stalwart adjusted his style from aggressive to a more technical approach.
“Kung mapapansin niyo, much composed siya ngayon comparing last time (He’s much more composed than last time),” said Sangiao in the latest episode of Team Lakay’s FWSZ Podcast. “Kasi [dati] nanggigigil siya every time na susuntok. So ngayon mas composed siya, alam niya na. Kaya tina-timing-an niya na, mayroong distance, ‘yong space, once mag-take down si Hexigetu, madedepensahan niya (He tend to become aggressive when exchanging strikes before. But now he’s more composed and he knows what to do next. With timing and distance, he can defend himself well against Hexigetu’s takedowns).”
Sangiao said that tactic was all part of the game plan to complement Adiwang’s fighting style.
Against Hexigetu though, it did not materialize that much as the Chinese fighter cannot seem to close the distance with Adiwang.
Sans wrestling, Hexigetu resorted to inside kicks instead but was handed down the yellow card twice with three consecutive illegal kicks on the groin area.
“‘Yon sana ‘yong gusto nating tignan but natakot si Hexigetu kaya sumabay na lang siya sa distance fighting (That’s what we’re looking at but Hexigetu was scared and backpedalled, that’s why he just went for the distance fighting),” added the Team Lakay patriarch.
Adiwang, for his part, admitted feeling a bit of frustration despite the win, especially after not sustaining the momentum needed due to the injury time.
Obviously in pain, the 28-year-old Adiwang soldiered on and made highlight reels of his own with flying kicks and knees which landed swiftly near Hexigetu’s neck area.
“The main thing that was on my mind that time is that I don’t want to disappoint the crowd ending the fight like that… so that’s the thing,” said Adiwang, who improved to a 13-3 record.
“I need to continue this one. Honestly, it’s quite painful when we continued that’s why I have to dance around and throw my strikes. I had to continue. We’re warriors so we can deal with it.”